This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

#DigitalSkeptic: The Targeted Web Ad Is a Lie

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Remember the old advertising saw that half the ads anybody runs are a waste -- and it's just anybody's guess which half?

Well, Anne Hunter can explain exactly why that joke is still sadly funny when it comes to the Internet.

"The majority of display ads served today on PCs are not seen," said Hunter, a pro numbers nerd -- specifically, senior vice president for global marketing strategy at ComScore, the Reston, Va., Web data and analytics company.

"We are not talking about engagement or how long people look. That's something else," she said. Rather, it's the ads people can actually view online. "We've measured it, and just over 54% of Web advertising is not being given the opportunity to be seen by human beings."

She is not guessing. Hunter has more than a decade of serious ad-data jujitsu at firms such as AOL (AOL) and now ComScore, where she and Andrea Vollman, senior director for marketing, worked as a part of a team that has created several deep-dive studies into what's what with the missing ad impressions. It's part of a larger effort branded as Validated Campaign Essentials.

After digging through their work and spending and nearly an hour on the phone with them, it's pretty clear there's a whole lot of Web ad dollars bleeding all over the floor.

The Invisible Web Ad
The blinding flash of investor insight Hunter and Vollman reveal is how, even after 15 years of trying, the key organs of the Web advertising body still aren't anywhere close to efficient.

"It's not that technical," Hunter said. "It's ads served in places where simply nobody can see them."

The big, black, value-sucking holes on the Internet turn out to be dumb stuff such as ads on the bottom or top of the pages that nobody scrolls up or down to see, or banners served up in a second or third window that opens behind the page being viewed. Then there are the extended family of traffic bots, automated malware and click-fraud tools that trigger an ad in the process.

"There are things like cross-domain, nested iFrames" that are even more complex. That's when one ad or video is served in a small window inside one Web page, but imported from another domain. "That can eat up impressions as well."

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 18,051.82 -1.89 -0.01%
S&P 500 2,086.97 -1.80 -0.09%
NASDAQ 4,801.1570 -5.7020 -0.12%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs